Advice For Writers

Get Organized and Get Things Done

I publish a new novel every 45 days. Just reading that aloud frightens me.

Independent writers recognize the challenges inherent with a rapid publishing schedule: ordering and evaluating cover designs, writing descriptions for book covers and Amazon’s product pages, editing and proofreading, sending advance copies to the beta reading team…

And so on.

I couldn’t accomplish these tasks without extreme organization. So I’ll tell you how I keep track of what I need to do each day to meet my ambitious publishing schedule.

Credit to Chris Fox for this tip. In Lifelong Writing Habit, a book I highly recommend to fellow authors, Chris encouraged writers to install a project management or organization tool on their smart phones. He named several options, some free, and some paid.

My favorite is the Things app, available for a onetime purchase of $9.99. On the surface, Things appears similar to Google Calendar. But while a normal calendar reminds you to purchase a gift for your spouse before your anniversary, or call Mom on her birthday, Things goes much deeper, allowing you to plan entire projects.

Another reason I prefer Things over normal planners is it’s on my phone and in my face all day, every day. 

I schedule a daily recurring task to write. Things reminds me of my task every day, and I take great satisfaction in checking off that task upon completion.

While I write my current novel, I’m already ordering cover concepts for the sequel. I tell Things when I need to name the new novel and send it to my cover designer. Here, I’m scheduling this task for December 14. The new covers are due on January 15, and I want my designer to have a minimum of one month to design the concepts. I don’t need to remember. Things will remind me on December 14.

I schedule pre-order uploads, editing, when I’m hitting my mailing list, everything. 

Things is the best $9.99 I ever spent. I haven’t missed a writing day since early spring, and I’ve never been this productive…or earned this much as an author.

Stop making yourself crazy and missing deadlines. Get organized now and boost your productivity for the coming year.

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